Five gruesome reasons you need a vegan tattoo shop

Here’s something a lot of vegans haven’t thought about: vegan tattoos. And trust us, you’re going to want to know… because the truth is horrifying.

Long ago, tattoos were the domain of rough-and-tumble adventurers — prisoners, priates, and the like. They probably didn’t care what they put into or onto their bodies, but these days, we know better and can do a little research to make sure our tattoos are completely vegan-friendly.

You might think that since you’re the one getting the tattoo, there’s no cruelty involved. But just as with any number of cosmetics products, there are lots of hidden surprises lying in wait.

Some of the most obvious hazards for conscientious vegans are in the inks themselves. Here are just a few of the gruesome things you may be injecting into your body when you get a tattoo:

· Black inks may contain bone char (pretty much just what it sounds like!)

· Inks are often stabilized with glycerin, made from animal fat

· Another popular stabilizer is gelatin, made out of animal hooves

· As a binding agent, many inks use shellac made from beetles

· Many tattoo inks contain mercury and other heavy metals, especially red inks

Credit: Hadar Ink FB page

That doesn’t mean you can’t get a tattoo! In fact, many vegans see their tattoo as an opportunity to express their love of nature and the planet, with plants, animals, flowers, or symbols that represent everything they stand for.

Credit: Spring Tattoo FB page

And no matter what design you choose, being vegan doesn’t have to mean compromising on quality. Two local studios here in Israel that do amazing, high-quality work are Hadar Ink in Ramat Gan and Spring Tattoo in Tel Aviv.

Credit: Spring Tattoo FB page

if you can’t find a vegan-friendly tattoo shop near you, you can at least make sure the person working on you uses a vegan ink like Eternal, StarBrite, SkinCandy, and Stable Color. EU regulations are stricter than U.S. regulations when it comes to heavy metals and other harmful compounds, so look for EU-certified inks wherever possible.

Credit: Hadar Ink FB page

Another fun fact to be aware of: when shaving before a tattoo, some places use razors with a strip of glycerin-based lube — to stay on the safe side, bring your own. And afterwards, find vegan-friendly products to care for it. Some lotions and balms may contain glycerin, beeswax, or lanolin.

The moral of the story: like we’ve said here so many times, veganism doesn’t begin or end with what you put in your mouth — it’s a way of life. That’s why we’re here — to make your vegan life easier. So let us know what aspect of vegan living you want to read about next!